Awesome Uses

Wes Bos recently launched a new Github repo called Awesome Uses that let’s everyone list their personal “uses” pages and I’ve added mine.

If you are not familiar with “/uses” pages the goal is to be able to point people to a single spot to find out everything about your setup. What happens is when you share things on social media you’ll get hundreds of responses asking the font, the editor, and everything else so this makes it’s easy to tell them to just go here.

Mine is already a little outdated so I’m going to work on fixing it up. It’s sort of funny how often I adjust my tools.

Crash Illustration

My friend Mohamed Said asked me, “When are we going to see a cartoon on people who crash on a bike?”, and not wanting to disappoint I decided to make one of him.

This one was fun to make and I had the idea of just having a huge head screaming but then you couldn’t tell it was a bike crash, so I had to include some of the other features. For something I did over my lunch break I think it turned out decent.

That photo of my iPad is how I created the image by finding one of him and stealing some of the colors and getting a basic outline. Then just attempting to make the facial expression funny.

Backdraft

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun making quick little comics and here is one I just put together tonight while watching TV. This one is targeted toward Twitter, but I’ve seen the same thing on all the social networks. The questions never end and that is why many are now creating uses pages on their sites so it’s easy to answer all the questions.

Office Art

As part of my goals to make more illustrations this year I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what to draw and I thought drawing a simple rubber duck would be something fun and simple. This weekend I spent an hour or so creating this illustration in Affinity Designer on the iPad:

I posted it up on social media and the response was pretty good. I decided I liked it so much it would make some cool wall art for my office. All from the iPad I exported the image, sent it to CVS, and in an hour I had an 8×10 ready to picked up.

I headed to the pharmacy and bought a $5 frame and $4 for the printing. All in all a $9 investment for what I think is a cool art piece.

I did change the text to ask one of the primary you should always be asking yourself, “are you solving the right problem?”. So many times when we hit a complex problem the easiest answer is to start over from the beginning and figuring out what you are actually solving and if there is a better way.

Giant Moon Background Image

This 81 megapixel giant moon picture has been making the rounds and according to DIY Photography:

This image was acquired by taking 50,000 images of the lit surface (25 tiles at 2000 frames each) and stacking the best 50% of the frames. Acquisition was done with a ZWO ASI224MC. The earthshine portion of the moon was captured with a Sony a711, and was a mosaic of 13 tiles with the best of around 20 images per tile stacked. The stars were taken with a stack of 50 images with the Sony. The telescope I used was an Orion XT10, mounted on a Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro.

You can find the full discussion on Reddit and grab the image here: https://i.redd.it/d1aehdnbq0h21.jpg

It works great as a background image.

Digital Minimalism

Recently I started reading Cal Newport’s new book Digital Minimalism and although I’m only a few chapters in it’s pretty enlightening. The beginning talks a lot about the habit of social media and how the apps are designed to keep up coming back for the next “hit” when you are bored.

He talks about going on a 30-day detox from all social media and then after you’ve broken the habit slowly add things back that will enrich your life. Not bad advice but I love the Twitter water cooler and I’m not willing to give it up. Sorry Cal. But I did decide to take it to heart and try to rework the way I use all social media.

Starting this weekend I’ve deleted all social apps off my phone and even chat apps like Discord and Telegram. I did keep work the apps like email, Slack, and Basecamp, but these aren’t time wasters like the others. Here is what my current phone screens look like:

I’m trying to not use Safari to access social channels and I’m logged out of all of them. Then if I really want to check it then I must use a computer. If you need to get in touch with me your best bet is email and I’ve turned off public DM’s on Twitter and all notifications.

You don’t realize how addictive the apps are until you delete them all and then stuck in the slow line at the grocery store. It brings back some nostalgia seeing the headlines of the tabloid trash at the checkout aisle for the first time in years.